phantym_56: (shitehawk)
New week tomorrow, new start. Positivity and all that. Cheering up. Recognising that there are good things in my life. I know I can't win every day but it does feel like I've had more loses than wins recently.

You can't depend on other people to make you happy and there are many things I can do myself to make me happy. To completely mangle a quote: "Life is what happens while you're waiting for other people". I'm not waiting for them anymore. I'm doing things and seeing things and it's very small-minded of people I called friends to say things like "You need to find a boyfriend... you sort of mess up the numbers." Fuck that. It's my life and I don't want a boyfriend in it. I will not conform to your petty little social statuses. You will not make me feel like an outcast because my life doesn't exactly match yours. And you know what? I've seen your life. It doesn't appeal very much. It seems to involve spending a lot of time sitting at home with a husband who doesn't strike me as a terribly interesting man and doesn't seem to even speak very much. (Not aimed at anyone in particular.)

Have you ever looked at the midday sun from halfway up a Transylvanian mountain you never meant to be anywhere near and felt glee? Have you ever shrieked in adrenaline-fuelled triumph while standing on a plank? Have you ever sat in a darkened room surrounded by strangers, unable to breathe because you're laughing so hard? Well, I have. And I wouldn't have done any of it if I'd waited for someone to come with me. Sometimes I'm "lonely", yes. But most of the time I'm "independent" or "free". And besides, it's not a crime to be a person who finds being alone more comfortable than being surrounded by people. It's not a crime to not be a people-person. As long as you're happy with that. And most of the time, I am. I came to terms long ago with the fact that I'm happier hiding in my room than I am at a party.

I know that I don't quite fit into any of the boxes you want to put me in. Is she a shy quiet meek little mouse? Yes! And yet is she a bold, pig-headed, too-fearless-for-her-own good bulldozer? Yes! Dreamer or doer? Yes! To both! Jenny once told me I was cool because I didn't care what anyone else thought of me. And that's something that a lot of teens think about themselves and they are sadly mistaken and for that reason, I don't entirely like the description. But I can't deny that there's a certain amount of accuracy in it. Whether or not you find that admirable is up to you. I'm not striding out there radiating "I'm weird! I don't care what you think of me!" because that makes me fucking cringe. But neither am I skulking around going "Please like me, I'll die if you think I'm weird."

The upshot of this all is that I am, like most people, a bit of a patchwork (and probably a patchwork in progress at that) and it's time for me to embrace that a bit, cheer the fuck up and not give a damn about whether or not my friends have got any time in their tedious little lives for me.

(Please note the shitehawk icon. I am pouring out words and emotions and not necessarily phrasing things how I might if I was trying to be diplomatic)
phantym_56: (ed - sleeeepy)

Ohhh... how long does it take for a body to catch up on missed sleep?! Still tiiiiired!

Speaking of things that drag on, how long does it take to import LJ stuff onto Dreamwidth? It's been sitting in the queue since Sunday morning and it's now Wednesday evening! That's slow!

I think I have two things to talk about today. Let's start with food phobia.


Food, food phobia and then Silver pushes in a bit. )

But Silver wasn't my second subject. My second was this song:

Well... I was going to embed a video but it's not on YouTube. Have the lyrics instead. The song is bouncy London-accented boyband and it just radiates summer.


Dive In, by the Yeah You's. Who I like despite the inappropriate apostrophe )

It's not quite the end but there's nothing new. This is one of my favourite songs ever and yes, I'm aware that my inner music snob should be ashamed. Luckily, I don't have one.

So, the chorus. Honestly, their accent and pronunciation - I know what it says the words are inside the cover but they sing "don't go thinking you've gotta go under the waves". You don't have to do this. Every time I hear this, and I mean every time, I'm taken back to a cave called Swildon's Hole, in Somerset. It's a lovely cave, it goes on for hours, there's literally something for everyone there. It's a brilliant cave.
The classic trip is down to Sump 1, through and then back up, at least for beginners. The sump is a section of flooded passage. It's less than a metre long. You can put your foot through and it comes up into fresh air on the other side. Every fresher that ever went through my club lay in the water, took a deep breath and pulled themself through this thing. Except me. It petrifies me. It's icy cold, it's brown and murky and full of grit, it's flat on your back with your head turned to the side. I know the reality is that I'd be underwater for all of five seconds but I can't do it. Call it a phobia if you must.


Caves, caving and my bond with my mate Magpie who was such a guardian angel/hero to me )

The second thing that song makes me think of is the second verse:

One day, it barely took a second
You grew up, the big world beckoned and you dived right in

I graduated, I got a job and suddenly - there's a world out there. I've got money now, I've got access to it. I took up snowboarding, I wrote a book, I flew off to Finland, Romania, the French Alps, Lithuania, Norway etc. I dived right in. I have bad days from time to time - rarer than it used to be, but generally I love this world and this life of mine. It would be nice if my friends would play in it occasionally but I'd rather play on my own than sit with my nose against the window looking out at it passing me by. I don't think that's a bad attitude to have to a fairly lonely life.

So umm.... that's what that song means to me. As if anyone actually cared.

This entry was originally posted at There are comment count unavailable comments there. I prefer Livejournal but feel free to comment at Dreamwidth if you like.
phantym_56: (russ/charley)
I don't even know. I had some hideous recurring bouts of misery last year but they've been pretty quiet this year - maybe two or three bad days each in January and February and none at all in March or April. I think it's over. I think I'm safely out the other side of it and it feels good.

But... that doesn't mean I can't occasionally feel like I'd really like to throw my arms around someone and bury my face in their neck and let them pat my back and murmur soothing things in my ear. Doesn't mean I don't occasionally feel lonely. Yeah, I know. I spent all of Friday night with a very good friend and I'm still recovering from it. It's far too soon to start complaining. But I'm non-demonstrative, I don't have that easy way of casually touching someone's arm while we're talking, I don't have the instinct to hug people in greeting, I struggle with small talk. Here I can and do whine a fair bit. I don't in real life. I can't stress that enough. In real life, you'd often not even notice I'm there. I'm invisible. I'm shy. I'm silent. I am not very good at articulating whatever I'm thinking or feeling. I keep real people at a bit of a distance. I don't make friends easily or lightly

And so I tend to get overlooked. Entirely my own fault, I know. I have developed a strong independent streak to compensate. And being overlooked can be handy, to be fair. But occasionally I feel a little bit sad that people overlook me. Not looking for *hugs* or sympathy, by the way. That would be an abuse of my whining space. I am saying this merely to whine. What I really want is for Jess and Annie to occasionally remember that even now they're married, they still have a quiet lonely friend who'd like to stay in contact and doesn't want to always have to be the one to initiate it because when she does, she tends to get brushed aside because friends apparently aren't as important as husbands. You see your husbands all day every day. Can't you spare me a couple of hours once in a blue moon? And also, don't try to find me a convenient boyfriend just because single people don't fit into your lifestyle anymore. "You mess up the numbers a bit" is a nice way to make me feel welcome. And who cares whether there's an odd or even number of people anyway? Being single is the part of my life that I genuinely have no problem with. I am not emotionally capable of coping with a boyfriend. And even if I was, I'm not exactly girlfriend material. Asexuals generally do not pair up brilliantly with boyfriends/girlfriends.

Didn't mean to go down that road. My zen side accepts that my path in life is heading in a different direction from their paths, that we're in our mid-twenties now and we're growing apart and that is heartbreaking in itself but... I accept it. On those rare occasions when we do get together we revert to giggly thirteen-year-olds but they're pretty rare now. What I actually meant to say is simply that I wish there was someone in my life who wouldn't mind, occasionally, maybe when I'm feeling lonely, just cuddling me. Other people are good at having friends. I'm not.
phantym_56: (ed - lawnmower)
Rewriting this one because I was too tired to bother with capital letters earlier.

My best-laid plans went a little awry when I arrived at work to find a message from my Dearly Beloved Boss telling me to get over to his house to babysit his kids. They're good kids, actually, not suffering too much yet from sharing his DNA, bright sparky little things but still too small to have too much attitude. And a day spent playing in the sandpit and watching Shaun the Sheep and out in the sun is going to be better than spending a day in the office.

It did scupper my rocky road plans, though. I spent forty-five minutes before work chopping ingredients and then didn't get to come home for my lunch hour to melt and mix. That was first job when I got home, followed by a quick bath and shower in which I took great care of my nails (nothing in the world makes nail varnish chip quicker than washing my hair) and then I ate and then I put the contrast colour tips on my precious nails.

I've even been organised enough to put both phone and camera on to charge ready to head off to London. I'm seeing Ed Byrne at Hammersmith tomorrow, meeting a friend for the show and going for some drinks afterwards and then she's sleeping on my hotel floor. I was about to say "we were complete strangers when we met" but isn't that true of everyone? I'll rephrase it. London, late at night. A bar. JD & coke. Inviting a complete stranger to stay in my hotel room. Fast-forward a bit over a year and now we're making arrangements to go and see our mutually favourite comedian together and then repeat the original meeting.

Then I'm meeting my Swiss sister on Saturday. Don't know what we'll do. Meander the streets of London and I'll pretend to be interested while she goes shopping. Probably hug each other on meeting. I haven't seen her in four years! Must text her in the morning, just to check she's still coming.

Odd how I was falling asleep two hours ago and have woken up now.

I miss playing with Alex and Joey. Trouble is, every time they pop into my head, I want to feed Alex. He's so skinny! He doesn't eat! He likes jam and he likes oranges and he loves coffee but he won't eat proper meals. They can't get on with the business of being spies when I'm trying to feed him ravioli stuffed with spinach and ricotta or something else interesting from whatever cookbook I was reading that day. I need them running around Europe, tracking down baddies, getting bridges collapsing on their heads, falling off cruise ships and sleeping off jetlag (Alex is cute when he's sleeping. He's even cuter when he's drowsy. I love my fictional spies). I need them out and about, doing things. I want to spend my train trip tomorrow at the very least, making a dent in a scene that doesn't involve food. That might ping me back into writing properly. I intended to have some sort of first draft of the Sequel finished by the end of March but at this rate, it's not going to be done by the end of 2011!

Goodnight. Long day tomorrow. Need some sleeeeep.
phantym_56: (ed - reunited - win)
Today is the first day in over a week I've felt bright. The feeling that I'm coming down with something has lifted and taken any potential "something" with it, along with the misery that tends to come with not feeling brilliant. Also, the sun is out. This is probably not connected.

I'm off to London on Friday. Seeing Ed Byrne at Hammersmith Apollo in the evening, drinking with mates afterwards and then spending Saturday meeting up with my best friend from uni. I lived with her in my third and fourth year, she was one of my Anglophone Triplets when we all lived in Switzerland, she's third only to Jess and Annie in my affections and we haven't so much as texted each other since we graduated nearly four years ago. She went to live and work in Korea and hasn't updated her Facebook to say she's back. She could have been back for two years, for all I know. Anyway, she popped up on chat the other day, we said "oh, we should meet up sometime." And well, I got sick of my mates saying that to me last summer and then not coming through so I suggested that since I was staying overnight in London on April 8th, maybe we should meet there on the Saturday. And we're going to. Well-meaning intentions like that are useless unless you actually do something about it.

Unfortunately I've got a district meeting tonight right out in the sticks which I could really do without. Before I depart at 1pm on Friday, I need to pack, make some rocky road and paint my nails. I've squeezed in the nail painting tonight - alternating indigo and yellow - I'll get the ingredients on the way home, I'll chop it all tomorrow morning, melt & mix during lunch hour tomorrow and then get the nail tips on tomorrow evening.

I've had indigo on for the last three days and there's no cotton wool. Tissue as a nail varnish remover isn't brilliant. Not only has it left indigo marks around the edges of all my nails, it's left a faint indigo glow on them. It's taken three coats of yellow to try and hide it. No one else will notice but I will! Anyway, the yellow ones will have red tips put on tomorrow and the indigo ones will have silver tips. I like both those combinations and I couldn't settle on one or the other, so I'm alternating them.

Also, my nail painting method to ensure I've got the entire nail is to spread the colour liberally over most of my fingertip, leave to set rock-hard overnight and pick off the mess in the morning. Doing it shortly before I go out means that I'm going to be sitting in a meeting with yellow and indigo splodges everywhere. I don't think any of the leaders will notice. God, I hate district meetings and I don't really like any of these leaders either. The DC (now DivC) is one of those battleaxe women who terrify mice like me. Several of them have very prominent black moustaches. Nothing useful comes out of the meeting. It's cold, it's miles away, it's intimidating. I do have a weapon up my sleeve though - I'm qualified! And Mandy's nearly qualified! (I was insanely jealous when she Facebooked that she was done, a week or so before me. It has since transpired that yes, her mentor's signed her book off but some evidence needs amending, then said evidence and book need to be collected and sent off to county. Mine's gone! It's on GO and everything! Technically, she's not actually done! Technically, I've finished first! Took me three and a half years whereas it only took her one and a half but she's not running the unit single-handed while juggling her first ever adult job. Also, she's had a mentor since the beginning whereas I went two years without one. Etc etc. I have plenty of excuses for it taking so long. And it did. Six to twelve months is the usual. Eighteen under special circumstances.)

Time to go. Pictures of nails if I've got time. Time feels like I luxury I just don't have this week. Yes, I know. I'm wasting what little time I've got rambling about nails and qualifications.
phantym_56: (ed - reunited - hug)
I'm not feeling so brilliant this evening. I'm tired almost to the point of collapse - this, I suspect, is what comes of a fortnight like this:

Brownies - Rangers - get up at 4am and spent 16 hours travelling - two hours time difference - five solid days on my feet, walking until I'm too exhausted to do anything more than collapse each evening, without enough proper food and waking up too early - very late night - two hours time difference - Rangers - snowboarding - two late nights in a row - one early morning - clocks change - Brownies - Rangers.

I am not going snowboarding tomorrow. I need a day off, I need some sleep, I need some time to just not do anything for once. My throat hurts - well, hurts isn't quite the right word. I think the best way to describe it is that I'm constantly aware that I still have tonsils at the moment. I can feel them. Tomorrow I'm likely to wake up with a very runny nose. Hopefully it's just a cold - three days of runny nose and the occasional intense tickle in my throat, then nothing. But I'm uncomfortably aware that this is sort of how my throat felt in October. I'm also aware that hydrocortisone weakens your immune system and that this started two days after I started putting it on my hands.

I texted Silver last week to say now we're back in the same country (he survived Afghanistan! Yay!) we should meet up and I only discovered today that he'd answered. I've been thinking he's ignoring me - wondering what I've done, wondering if maybe he's lost his phone. No. My phone didn't tell me he'd replied. I'd love to text back and arrange to meet up this weekend but I'm not sure if I'm going to be feeling up to it. I think I'd like to spend the entire weekend wrapped in a blanket, sleeping on the sofa. On the other hand, there is a certain appeal in having someone like him around to hug me and talk to me and make me feel better. On the other hand (and I'm too tired to care that that makes three hands) I know that in real life I don't like being around other people when I'm not feeling well. I had some fluey thing in Switzerland five or six years ago and my friend Angie dragged me to her appartement and fed me, which was lovely of her, and made me stay the night and that... was not so lovely. I need to be left in peace to suffer on my own. I'm apparently utterly incapable of coughing in front of other people which can be extremely uncomfortable sometimes, like at work or at your best friend's appartement (we really mangled our pidgin French, hence the use of "appartement" in an otherwise English sentence. We also "ratted" our exams - from the French transitive verb rater, meaning to not pass)

I need to go to bed.
phantym_56: (ed - reunited - shower)

Even though it's 11pm and I'm tired, I want to ramble a little bit.

Brownies went ok. I hadn't factored in the speed at which we'd get through the songs or the disruptive nature of 7-10 year old girls. One in particular wanted slapping. I warmed up with Boom-chicka-boom, which is call and response. Unfortunately, this obnoxious little cow decided to take the piss and repeated everything I said for the next five minutes. Those songs we did manage to sing went ok, although I've never heard anyone make such a dirge out of On Top of Spaghetti. I must apologise for casting aspersions on Mandy's singing - yes, she's sort of not very good at all at it but on the other hand, I have seventeen tone-deaf Brownies. Not a single one is capable of producing a recognisable tune. Not one. I have to admit I spent more time shouting at them to be quiet than I did teaching them songs. And the little horrors did immediately decide they wanted to do My Little Baby Bumblebee - a song I'd deliberately left out of the songbook because I hate it. I don't like "squishing up my baby bumblebee" but I'm a severe emetophobe and I particularly hate the "sicking up my baby bumblebee" bit. (Had to giggle at Red Men. I've been singing it since I was seven - I am immune to the ickiness of that song. I no longer notice the "stir their innards in our cake" and "down among the dead men" etc but the Brownies have clearly never come across anything quite so graphic in their little lives. There were disgusted noises made. They did enjoy the chorus and the actions though.)

I think my hands are doing a little better for the hydrocortisone cream. They're still covered in bumps but I think the bumps are a little less prominent than they were. They're certainly tolerating the E45 better now - figured moisturising in between applications of steroids can't hurt - and it's not burning anymore. I have never been allergic to anything in my life and I regard this as a complete betrayal.

In which I find it ridiculously stressful trying to take another person to a comedy show with me )

I've just done the "What is your love language?" test. My result is Quality Time. See here:
In the vernacular of Quality Time, nothing says, “I love you,” like full, undivided attention. Being there for this type of person is critical, but really being there—with the TV off, fork and knife down, and all chores and tasks on standby—makes your significant other feel truly special and loved. Distractions, postponed dates, or the failure to listen can be especially hurtful.
Yeah. I believe at several points I've whined/got upset (often properly upset) about everything in that last line. I have been the shy, quiet, invisible girl for most of my life - if I feel I know you well enough that I want you to notice me, then please notice me! It means I trust you lots and I value you lots and I want to be around you and it's not nice when someone you feel like that about seems to regard you as being about as important and interesting as a plant pot. (This is why I don't tend to cope well with big gatherings.The few people I'm comfortable with, understandably, want to see other people and not hang around babysitting me. This causes spirals resulting in me being hugely glad to leave. I'd much rather just go to your house when there's no one else in, or go for a walk on the hills or go to the pub. All things I can cope with. I sometimes try to deny it but I do rather like people.)

Phantym on Physical Touch )
Now I'm headachey with tiredness. Not enough sleep Saturday night between late night, early morning and the clock change. And my teeth hurt because I ate fridge-cold jelly and bit it with my broken tooth. Figured it's jelly, it's the softest food in the world, it won't hurt to bite. It does. Most things don't hurt at the time but it was cold and that hurt. Most things hurt later and it does that too! (Guess who's still never made it to the dentist?!) And you can tell how tired I am: it just took me five attempts to spell "softest" correctly. Spelling is one of the few things I'm actually good at. (My grammar leaves something to be desired. I abuse commas and semi-colons, I know, among my myriad other crimes. But I can spell. Except those things you have to learn as part of your driving test - three point turns, etc. Manoeuvres. My bete noir of spelling.)

phantym_56: (ed - sexyhat)
Going to Lithuania and quite frightened )

The philosophy of going places on my own )

In other news... well, there's not much. Going to Lithuania and "I need to find some quiz questions for Brownies by bedtime tonight" are the only things in my brain at the moment. This morning I acquired a sudden crush on Brian Cox. I watched him on Something for the Weekend and giggled and melted and generally went a bit soppy at him. I don't think this will last long, judging by the fact that as soon as he's out of sight, I've forgotten him.

I ate on my broken tooth the other day. It felt fine at the time, I started thinking that it just needed a bit of time to heal up or something. Nope. By bedtime, agonising toothache. At just before two in the morning, I was drinking liquid painkiller out of the bottle. No spoon and the dosing syringe still had a small amount of gunge in it from the last time I used it. Liquid painkiller tickles but I can't get up in the middle of the night and go downstairs for a drink. I'd be shot. And besides, if I did go downstairs, I could just take some adult medicine.

I have a small ulcer caused by the rubbing of a sharp bottom tooth. It has become the only thing in the world I can think about. Poking it, prodding it, biting it, trying to get rid of it (yes, I know all those things will just make it worse). I should be packing and thinking of some quiz questions. I can't. I have an ulcer and it needs to be prodded. Even noises in another room is doing my head in right now. I have a tiny tiny pain in my mouth and it's become my world. Stop rustling those fucking bags! I can't stand the noise! Oh, but I can't actually go and yell that because I will be accused of being totally unreasonable and incredibly bad-tempered.
phantym_56: (ed - reunited - exhausted)
I am completely and utterly exhausted. I mean, properly. It's 6.33pm and I'm liable to fall asleep while typing this.

Thursday's taster session of extreme sports, Friday's snowboarding and two days at camp )
phantym_56: (ed - graham norton)

It is a good day, people. Boss not in the office. London plans being made. And you know what they say about lightning? I think it may strike again

There are too many tags for a post this short.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

phantym_56: (ed - graham norton)

Am I not shutting up today? I have rinsed my mouth with vodka and there are no words for the stinging of holding vodka in your mouth. It hasn't done a lot for the toothache. However, either the pain is letting up a little or the distraction of The Bubble is an ok painkiller. Dr Comedy's at it again. I promise I will be phoning a dentist on Monday. And when the hurt tooth gets dealt with, I will probably tell you about it in detail. Sorry about that. Writing stuff down here is sort of therapeutic.

While I was writing about Primeval earlier there was something I wanted to add on the end, something non-Primeval related, but I have no idea what it was.

After loving Knight & Day earlier, I'm delighted to find that Chris Addison happened to watch it today as well and even more that he liked it as much as I did.

And I've just been contacted by an old friend. I say "old friend". We met for one evening only, although admittedly, she came back to my hotel room for the night and we went out for breakfast in the morning. We haven't seen each other since and although we're Facebook friends, only a couple of messages have passed between us in over a year. She's made a suggestion that my head says I should resist. My heart wants to get my credit card out right now. And in situations like this, my heart usually wins.

Watching The Bubble, as I mentioned. Jon, Germaine and Ed are funny. I think they genuinely bonded in the house. When I went to the Lake District in October, I flew to Manchester and then took the train, and on the train I was sitting opposite someone who sounded exactly like Jon Richardson. I was about to fall slightly in love with him (didn't hurt that he was pretty) when it dawned on me that he's probably only seventeen or eighteen and it's ill-advised for someone my age to gaze at someone that age. I wish, wish, there was more footage of the Scrabble games. I know there's footage floating around somewhere but it's never been made public. (I feel like Hazel from Anne of Windy Willows. I am abusing italics.)

While I'm rambling, I shall tell you how I earned Brownie points (and therefore food) by doing lots of washing up. I'm firmly on the side of washing under running water rather than dunking everything in a big bowl of filthy water but I'm aware that some people disapprove of that. Housewife Colleague once made some remarks in her sickly sweet voice about "Oh, you obviously don't do this very often, do you?" and it took a great deal of self-control to not point out that washing up isn't my job, I'm being nice and if you think I'm doing it wrong, then you can damn well do it yourself, woman! Anyway, stuff got washed, floors got drenched and I became the good guy and therefore didn't have to do any more tidying for the rest of the afternoon, which is the best result of them all.

Have a couple of Bubble caps. I've meant to picspam this properly for nearly a year, so maybe I'll get round to it sometime )

Oh! I've very suddenly remembered what the thing was that I wanted to say during Primeval. Anyone find Brian from the Beechams 3-in-1 advert quite pretty? This isn't the current advert but it's the same person and the same footage of Brian, so it'll do very nicely. Obviously I'm not obsessive over him, otherwise I would have remembered him a lot sooner.

I decided (and have completely forgotten why) that my little black glasses are bad for my eyes so at the moment I'm wearing my massive black comedian ones. I call them my comedian ones however, the reality is that the comedian I most resemble in them is probably Ronnie Barker. They're ludicrously big and the arms are far too long and they're constantly slipping off the end of my nose so on the whole, they're fairly useless (more time spent hauling them back onto my face than actually seeing through them) and they don't even look good. I wore them to Brownies once and was told fairly comprehensively by one of the girls just how ridiculous they look. I haven't dared wear them to work. I can hear Boss's Feisty Mother's opinion on them already.

I should go to bed. I seem to be sleeping pretty well at the moment and sleep certainly seems to help my teeth but I'm in the mood for staring at a computer screen for a few hours while rambling about things no one wants to know.

Comedy upcoming between now and May, alphabetically. It sort of feels like a waste to have not seen any at all in January. But the only ones who were around were Punt & Dennis and by the time I'd decided I actually did quite fancy seeing them, they'd sold out.

Andy Parsons - he's been a gap in my comedy list for so long.
Ed Byrne - well, obviously!
Greg Davies - he's not one I've been going "I really want to see him, when is he coming here?" but I can see that if I didn't go, I'd be thinking that in a year's time. Along with "damn, why didn't I go when I had the chance?"
Mark Watson - Booked last August, yet still managed to get front row ticket, which I only realised yesterday. Tickets first appeared last January but buying one over a year in advance seemed a little silly. Besides, being prone to sudden changes in obsessions, I wasn't guaranteeing still being into comedy a year later. But here I am!
Micky Flanagan - Saw him at Altitude, fell in love. Resent sharing him with other people. How dare he go on Mock the Week and suddenly become popular!
Milton Jones - Love at first sight. Another "I want to see him, why won't he come near me?!" one.

List may grow. Depends who else is on.

And now shut up, Phantym. Go to bed. You're tired enough that you're having difficulty keeping the screen in focus.

phantym_56: (ed - ketchup)
Dear World

Stop trying to make me grumpy when I don't want to be. Things I hate today.

Low-energy bulbs. They're shit.
Yale locks. They turn a door into a wall even when you're holding the key.
Rain. I don't mind rain but not rain like today. Especially when combined with the above Yale lock.
Stomach pains/cramps/shiveriness/various assorted monthly symptoms, all of which cause misery which makes me grumpy.

On Saturday I went out for a walk in the forest with Jess and Annie and Jess's husband and kids. A fine time was had by all. Auntie Phantym taught two-year-old Nina to paddle in the puddles and Auntie Annie taught her to play pooh-sticks. I tried writing this up on Sunday but got caught up in being jealous that both my best friends have got houses of their own (*grumble grumble*) Anyway, here are a couple of pretty pictures of our afternoon out.Cut for big pictures )
phantym_56: (ed - this big!)
I am bored out of my tiny little mind. No response from Jess or Annie about meeting up this week (should be neither surprised nor disappointed. That's how people work). I braved the shops this morning because Mum wanted to get out of the house, so I wandered aimlessly for an hour or so, looking in all the shops I go in all year round, at all the stuff I can buy all year round. I find shopping immensely boring unless I'm shopping for something specific, and then it tends to be stressful because I can't go home until I've bought some shoes!! or What on earth do I get Jess for Christmas?? or some such.

My thoughts on Top Gear in the Middle East, Three Men Go to Scotland (and sailing), tonight's TV and last night's insomnia )
phantym_56: (bryan - kursk)
Today's Moment is one that I considered last time the prompt was "a moment."

I've mentioned my friend Magpie. I was in love with him for a few years but ultimately, his place in my life was as mentor, hero and guardian angel. He was the first friend I had who was significantly older than me - by a massive gap of four and a half years - and he was very good to me. He taught me a lot, he respected me, he stood up for me and he's the only person who's ever made a dietary suggestion and I've gone along with it which is in itself a massive thing.

This particular moment happened fairly early on in our acquaintance. It was a Thursday evening which was club night, we'd gone to the usual bar, along with several others, as usual and we were sitting in our usual seat. It's a student bar in one of the colleges, it was a dark corner where you sit on padded velvet bench-things or metal patio chairs. There was always karaoke going on. I say "in our usual seat". Actually, we usually sat just outside the door where we could hear each other speak and where no one looked at us for being weird if we happened to pull out a map the size of three tables. Back then, there were only five of us, I think. Five regulars. The other four were all boys, all tall, all experienced and me, this blonde-haired skinny little girl half their height.

Anyway, one evening, the other three weren't there. Maybe they were at the bar, maybe me and Magpie had arrived early, maybe the others had already gone. I don't know. I don't have any recollection of any of it except him saying something to me - I don't remember what - and me staring at him, trying to decided what to say. Staring at him for far too long. Not long enough for it to get awkward, just long enough for him to suddenly draw back, looking a little startled and go "God, how are you doing that? It's like you're looking into my soul!"

So that was my Moment. The moment I looked into Magpie's soul.

(I have a link in my sidebar of "Cast and characters in Phantym's life". It's to remind me what everyone's codenames are. I really should dust it off and made it public so you can see who all these people are)

22:55 - I've just found my diary from my first year of uni. It's fun to read. My handwriting is pretty legible and by the age of eighteen, I was thinking the way I do now and writing just as I would now - unlike my diary from school which I've also been reading. Not reading, actually. Flicking through and cringing. But the uni diary is proving quite an entertaining and interesting document of my early experiences with The Club.

This is my entry on the Moment above:

Thursday 8th January 2004
11:52 pm - Almost tomorrow but not quite! I've just spent 3 hours in the [...] Bar - the same surreal experiene, dim red lights, karaoke, schoolgirl outfits and us sitting in a corner talking about ropes, rocks and minibuses. And as per usual when everyone except me, Magpie and Pieboy have gone, we get back to the alpha male headbutting again. All 3 of them are too stubborn/possessive/strong-minded/weak/whatever to relinquish control and I'm a witness to a lot of it.
While I remember, me and Magpie shared a lovely moment. He said something, I think it was about having a chip on his shoulder and because I had no response to that, I just looked at him and it struck me how black and pupiless his eyes were. But it unsettled him. "What?" "Nothing." "You were looking at me in that way - that penetrating stare - it was as if you were looking into my soul. What's she thinking?!"
It would be nice if I could see into his soul - he's one of the good guys at heart...

Ok, some of that doesn't make sense. "The same surreal experience"? "Weak"? The 3, by the way, isn't a mistake. The three refer to Magpie, Pieboy and Moon. That Moon wasn't there just then is irrelevant. A lot of my diary is musing on the complex relationship those three have. I've also realised that my diary is a 5 year diary. That's why it has five sections marked off down each page with Year: at the start of each. I just use it as lined pages. The pages are slightly falling out. The first entry in that diary is dated 16th October 1999 but my use of it is somewhat sporadic which is why it lasted so long. I can't get over how easy my handwriting is to read, especially compared to my older diary which chronicles the misery of Year 8. A bad year and yet quite the landmark in my life because Year 8 was when everything turned around.
I bought a new diary a few months back and it's only got one entry in it, dated around September. I vow to pick it up and write in it more often.

Anyway, I should go to bed. Shopping, metalwork and lunch with my grandad who'll be 87 on Sunday await tomorrow.
phantym_56: (ed - theoretically)
This one's easy. There's one thing that really stands out in my memory. When I was fifteen or so, I answered my sister's phone while she was out. Her best friend on the other end asked to speak to her and said she'd called about three times. Joking, I said "Oh, she doesn't want to be friends with you any more!" Said best friend took me seriously. Chaos ensued. It was awful. I like to think that had it happened the other way around, my friends wouldn't have been stupid enough to actually pay attention to what my sister said. Anyway, this "best friend" later turned out to be a bullying little shite so it was for the best, but still...

Continuing on yesterday's theme...

When I started at my job, there were four of us French-speakers. We had to coordinate our lunchbreaks and we were the only ones who worked until 5 so there was quite the bond between the four of us. One left last Christmas and a new one joined the previous July (Daisy). This July, Curly Colleague started, three weeks later Mandy left. Mandy my Brown Owl. She only works just up the road, so French Colleague, Daisy and Curly Colleague went and had lunch with her a while back. I was a little miffed at being left out, but it's well known that I don't eat, I see Mandy once a week anyway and someone needed to stay to answer the phones in case any French customers called.

Last week, French Colleague suggested the five of us should get together one lunchtime before Christmas. She invited me. I beamed. I came back from my lunchbreak today to find a four-way Skype conversation on my screen discussing when this lunch should be, narrowed it down according to when Daisy and Curly are in (they've left their holiday hours until the last minute and are out most of the next two weeks). They found a day when we're all in and then French Colleague ended the conversation with "So if [Phantym] doesn't mind staying in the office to answer the phone, we can all do the 22nd."

Oh thanks.
phantym_56: (russ/charley)
This is a sore spot today of all days. Let me start from the beginning.

My 21st was good. I jumped off a mountain strapped to a lovely lad.

But I'm choosing my 14th simply because it was the last time I had a birthday. When I was eleven and a bit, I moved to a new town 10-15 miles away from my old home. I stayed at the same school, I stayed at the same Guides, I kept the same friends. But these friends were of a tribe who believed 10-15 miles was an epic distance. I kid you not, I can count on my fingers the number of times friends have come to this house in the last fourteen years. I rarely if ever saw my friends during the summer holidays; they couldn't travel that sort of distance. Yes, I'm still incredibly bitter about this. It's a given that I'll drive it to see them but the other way around? Nothing doing.

My birthday is during the summer holidays. It was such an undertaking that past fourteen, I didn't really bother. But for my fourteenth, I had a bouncy castle in the back garden and jelly and ice cream and all that. Childish, but that was the point. Everyone enjoyed it. It was a good party, it was a good birthday. A couple of bouncy castle-induced back injuries but that was fine. No one died and several friends made the Epic Journey.

The reason this is such a sore spot today is that I was supposed to be going on a day trip to France with a couple of girls from the office at the weekend and this afternoon they offered me chocolate as a consolation prize for neither of them being able to go. So many friends rejected me during May-July that I lost trust in every single person in the world but as of about August, I was regaining faith in them and now all that has been shattered again. I get that they can't go; they've got reasons, it's not their faults. It's just as neat a lesson as you're going to get as to why I live my life so independently without other people. You can't rely on other people. They let you down every single time.
phantym_56: (ed - red)

I've talked about my best friends before. Annie and Jess. We're a triumverate, so I can't pick one of them as my best friend.

Jess I've known since we were four. She's the ringleader and always has been. Our Gang has mutated a few times over the years but the two of us have always been there and she's always been the ringleader. Don't take it the wrong way if I say she's picked on me for over twenty years. She has but in fairness, I've stayed around to let her and in recent years I've learnt that I'm actually stronger than her and can beat her in a fight. She's strongly religious but has never really tried to convert me. She's been married for three years, after a string of relationships (she hasn't been single for longer than about a week since she was sixteen, the age at which the bishop permitted dating although she practiced for quite a while before then) and has two small children. We don't see a lot of each other but it doesn't seem to matter. We don't have a lot in common anymore but that doesn't seem to matter either. I hate to sound sentimental because we're not soppy around each other - to the best of my remembrance, we've only hugged once in the 20+ years we've known each other - but some friendships transcend such things.

Annie I've known since we were thirteen. Me and Jess pretty quickly adopted her as our third member. I went to Italy with her for a fortnight when we'd only known each other about six months (it's a long story and it'll probably come up later in the meme, I don't know) and I remember thinking it would either make or break us. Thankfully it made us. She was the smart one of the trio, the artistic one and the temperamental one. She fell in love with a quiet boy in our tutor group and drove me and Jess mad going on about how wonderful he was for over ten years before finally marrying him. She's been an environmental nut since long before it was popular. She works for our local wildlife trust and I don't see a lot of her either. I think we have about as much in common as we used to - not a lot but enough to sustain a friendship. We've always been a little awkward talking on the phone, still are now. We don't go so quickly into giggles over old stuff as me and Jess do but it doesn't stop us being best friends.

Over the years I've come to the conclusion that for a start, I'm lucky to have a long-term best friend. I've seen many people get through a best friend a year and I've not only had someone at my side for my entire life but I've had two someones. I've sometimes felt insecure that they like each other more than me and I know that Jess has sometimes felt left out of me and Annie and I can't imagine Annie hasn't felt left out of my and Jess but on the whole, it works well as a trio. Not least because if I go to one for advice and she doesn't give me the answer I want, I can go to the other.

So, yeah, those are my best friends. They pop up here quite a bit, you've probably seen them before.


phantym_56: (Default)

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